Distracted driving claims 76 lives each year in British Columbia, according to police data.

This month police, along with the Insurance Corporation of British Colombia (ICBC), are reminding drivers to “take a break” from their phones while behind the wheel.

During March police are running a driving enforcement campaign and community volunteers are setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phone alone.

One distracted driving ticket is $368 plus four penalty points ($252) with a total fine of $620. Drivers who get a second distracted driving ticket within 12 months receive a $2,500.

The ICBC says these penalties are not deterring some drivers, with an average of 1,335 drivers receiving multiple tickets every year.

“Distracted driving continues to be a serious issue in our province – it’s the number one cause of crashes,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.

“Police officers see distracted drivers on the roads in every community. We are stepping up efforts making sure people leave their phones alone while driving.”